Contributor: Anastasiia Maklakova, Marketing Intern @ Rooks to Cooks

Natural dyes produce lovely coloured eggs

Easter is just around the corner and we have an “eggs-citing” activity that all family members will enjoy! For many families, the tradition of egg colouring has always been a part of Easter preparations. This year let’s try colouring eggs with natural dyes. Kids will love to see all the “eggs-traordinary” colours that they can produce using different vegetables and spices that you might have in the kitchen. Here are some recipes that will give you intense, beautiful colours and you don’t need to worry because the ingredients are natural and safe. We are sure that your kids will be “egg-static” about this activity!

Some “Eggs-cellent” TIPS to get you started:

  • To help prevent the eggs from cracking, keep them out of the fridge for about 1 hour before boiling; also, put one (1) teaspoon of salt in the water during boiling.
  • Before coloring, wash the eggs with soap and water; remove any oil or marks on the egg with rubbing alcohol to get better colors.
  • Cover your table or work area with paper because some of the dyes might be intense and it’s not easy to wash them off your surface.
  • Use a cooking skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer the eggs in and out of the dye.
  • If possible, pick a saucepan that is deep enough that your eggs are completely immersed in the dye or you will get a white/light spot; you can also roll them over occasionally to get an even colour.
  • After coloring, dry the eggs out and wipe with olive or canola oil to give them an incredible shine.
  • Colored eggs must be kept in the refrigerator.

Now let’s get started! Here are our Top 5 Natural Dyes and instructions on how to colour your eggs. Have fun!!

You will need the following ingredients, depending on which colour(s) you choose to try:

  • white vinegar
  • salt
  • Onion skin from 6-8 yellow onions (Yellow)
  • 6 medium beets, chopped (pink)
  • 4 cups raw spinach leaves (green)
  • 2-3 Tbsp Turmeric (golden/yellow)
  • 4 cups Red Cabbage (chopped or grated)
  1. Yellow Coloured Eggs:
  • In a saucepan, add onion skin from 6-8 bulbs to 4 cups of water, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt; bring to boil and then lower to a simmer for about 40 minutes; strain the onion skin;
  • Carefully put raw eggs into the pot of strained dye and gently boil for 10 minutes and then take pot off the heat; try to ensure that your eggs are completed immersed in the dye or you may get a white/light spot; you can also roll them over occasionally to get an even colour;
  • For more intense color, leave the eggs in the dye for longer depending on the depth of colour that you like;
  • Take the eggs out of the dye using a slotted spoon or tongs; pat dry with paper towels and let dry completely on a rack.

2. Pretty Pink Eggs

  • You will need about about 6 medium Beets; roughly chopped;
  • In a saucepan, combine beets with 4 cups of water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 teaspoon salt;
  • Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes;
  • Place raw eggs in the pot and gently boil for 10 minutes; take pot off the heat and leave eggs in longer to get desired colour;
  • Take the eggs out of the dye, pat dry and then allow to dry completely on a rack.

3. Green Eggs

  • Add about 4 cups of raw spinach leaves, 4 cups of water, 1 tablespoon salt to a saucepan;
  • Boil for about 25 minutes; strain the spinach;
  • Place raw eggs into the pot with the dye and gently boil for 10 minutes; take pot off the heat and leave eggs in longer to get desired colour;
  • Take the eggs out of the dye, rinse and pat dry and then allow to dry completely on a rack.

4. Golden/Yellow Eggs

  • Pour 4 cups of water in a saucepan and add 2-3 tablespoons of turmeric;
  • Bring the solution to a boil for 2 minutes and then simmer/brew for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour;
  • Place raw eggs in the pot and gently boil for 10 minutes; take pot off the heat and leave eggs in longer to get desired colour;
  • Take the eggs out of the dye, rinse and pat dry and then allow to dry completely on a rack.

5. Beautiful Blue Eggs – believe it or not Red Cabbage produces Blue dye – very Cool!

  • Note: For this colour option, you will need to hard-boil your eggs in water for 10 minutes and let cool before dying.
  • In a saucepan, add 4 cups of chopped or grated red cabbage and 4 cups of water;
  • Bring to boil and then let simmer on low for approx. 25-30 minutes; the water will turn a purple colour;
  • Strain the cabbage from the water, then add 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar to the dye and stir throughout;
  • Let the dye cool to room temperature before using; then we put our dye into a small glass jar;
  • Now place your cooled, hard-boiled eggs into dye solution for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour for various shades of blue;  
  • To get deeper blue colours, try leaving your egg in the dye overnight and see what happens!
  • Take the egg out of the dye, pat dry and then allow to dry completely on a rack.

We hope you have fun “egg-sperimenting” with colours – kids can even mix various dye colours together to see what happens (for example, Yellow + Red = Orange). You may also find some other fruits and veggies around the kitchen that produce interesting dyes when boiled in water. There are lots of options and it is a great learning experience. 😊